As part of a Government initiative to take the city of Edinburgh into the future, Lothian buses teamed up with Icomera to give passengers using the city’s unified public transport network cutting-edge Internet connectivity while on the move.

Lothian Buses is an award-winning bus operator, recognised throughout the industry for its high levels of customer service.

Lothian continue to promote green mobility and seek to encourage increased use of public transport by tourists and locals. In 2013, Edinburgh was declared one of the UK’s ‘super-connected cities’. To motivate a behavioural change in travel habits, Lothian sought to attract passengers with an onboard experience that kept riders entertained and informed, with a solution that could be rolled-out across its fleet of 700+ buses serving more than 115 million passengers annually.

To effectively meet Lothian’s ambitious requirements, Icomera, along with other business units within the ENGIE Solutions group, pooled their respective areas of expertise, combining Icomera’s Wi-Fi and onboard connectivity capabilities with the wider ENGIE Solutions group’s powerful passenger information and fleet tracking capabilities. Lothian Bus passengers are now able to enjoy high-quality, high-speed Wi-Fi, alongside a robust onboard passenger information service. Additionally, Lothian staff can monitor and track their fleet in real-time.

Passenger Wi-Fi and Application Platform

At the heart of the project was the desire to provide Lothian passengers with the best possible onboard experience, enabling them to continue being productive while they travel. In 2014 Icomera’s mobile Internet solution enabled Lothian to become the first UK operator to have all of its vehicles connected with high-speed 4G Wi-Fi.

In 2019, Lothian opted to upgrade its Edinburgh Bus Tours fleet to Icomera’s ICR-2 mobile Internet connectivity and applications gateway, which gives them access to a range of new functionality, better real-time data availability, location/GPS, and tailored client portals, all backed by more advanced maintenance and monitoring support, for better operational and environmental awareness and control.

Icomera’s mobile Internet connectivity and application platform also lays the foundation from which a range of other systems can be supported. Applications such as health monitoring for Lothian Buses’ Video Surveillance systems ensure a safer environment for passengers. Icomera’s modular approach means that further applications can easily be added at a later date, futureproofing Lothian Buses’ investment. The solution creates virtually seamless Wi-Fi coverage for both Edinburgh residents and tourists when using the bus services in the city.

Real-time Passenger Information and Vehicle Monitoring

As part of the project, ENGIE Solutions implemented its state-of-the-art Navineo Intelligent Transportation System, allowing Lothian Buses to monitor the bus fleet and keep passengers informed about their journeys in real-time via the Lothian mobile app.

Peace of Mind

The security of Lothian’s passenger and operational data benefit from Icomera’s proactive approach to cybersecurity, supporting the operator to follow continuously improving best practices to exceed the expected public transport industry standards. Icomera was one of the first key players in the industry to achieve ISO 27001 certification for information security management. Following a process-based, risk-driven approach, Icomera’s industry experience and expertise helps Lothian to understand what assets need to be protected against which risks, and how those risks must be mitigated.

Icomera and ENGIE Solutions: Sharing a Common Vision for Public Transport

By utilizing Icomera’s mobile Internet connectivity platform together with ENGIE Solutions’ advanced Navineo CAD/ AVL technology, the group was able to deliver a solution for Lothian that helps promote a greener, safer, more data-driven approach to mobility, which is more attractive to those travelling.

Commenting on the project, Peter Kingsland, SVP UK, said: “Edinburgh is an excellent example of a city investing in its transport network to provide a top-quality experience to passengers. By deciding to roll-out Wi-Fi, passenger information, fleet tracking and other connected services, Lothian Buses has shown that they value not only innovation and safety, but also the needs of the hundreds of thousands of people who rely on public transport in Edinburgh every day.